Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Q & A

Ryan posed some questions (a question and a desire, really) in his comment on my post yesterday.

At one point will the whole agency element come into play for you? Do you seek them out? Or will they find you?

As much as I'd like to believe agents will be beating down our door to sign Jul and I, generally that doesn't happen. There are only two ways I can imagine agents seeking us out. One, if we manage to get someone (a showrunner, studio, network) to buy one of our scripts and/or hire us for actual writing work. This isn't completely unheard of, but it is rare. The most reasonable version of this that I can think of is a writer's assistant on a TV show being promoted to staff writer. If the writer doesn't have representation yet, sometimes writers on the show will put them into contact with their agent/agency or agents that they know. Not quite the same as agents seeking you out, but I have a hard time imagining an agent turning down a writer who is already employed. Easy 10 percent, right? The second way I can think of to get the attention of agents is by creating something that becomes popular (like, say, a webcomic) where they see us as a marketable commodity. Again, though, in this situation it's probably more likely that if the project becomes really popular, network/studio/producer interest would come first. Once they are interested, agents will be interested in you because, again, you're marketable. Even more likely is that this popular project will simply end up being something that you, the writer, put on your query letter and talk about when meeting agents to make them more interested.

Which brings me to: How do I find an agent? Since I don't have an agent, clearly I'm the best person to ask about this. <*smirk*>

To me, this is kind of like how you get a writer's assistant position. While I've heard of writers getting agents just by sending out query letters, most anecdotal evidence says that's a slow trip to nowhere. Again, it comes back to who you know. Friends with an agent or two? Great. Know some writers? Awesome. Familiar with some assistants to agents? Okay now, might be great later. And it doesn't stop there; especially if you're in LA, you never know who knows who. Jul's dentist introduced her to a TV news producer and got her a tour of the station. Tales abound of random connections like this, so don't turn down any opportunities or ignore anyone because you think there's no point to talk to them. Obviously, all of this is just to get an agent to read your work. After that, it's (finally!) up to how good your script is.

Also, I think it'd be cool if you posted what you expect to happen after your work for this current film is finished. I know that's impossible to predict, but it would be interesting to compare your expectations and then the actual results later on.

I'm not sure I like experimenting on my hopes and dreams in a time capsule-like way, but what the heck. There's about two years left before the movie comes out. Best case scenario, Jul and I will be paid staff writers before that time is up (sorry, bosses, it's not that I don't love you and the movie). Worst case scenario, I figure I'll at least be able to parlay my experience here into a writer's assistant gig on a TV show.

Probably it will be somewhere in the middle. Maybe through my bosses we'll be able to meet with a few agents; maybe even get representation. They also have a lot of writer friends, so hopefully I'll make a few connections that way. Either way, I absolutely think I'll be better off from the experience I get and new doors will open.

No comments: